Using data from the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO), NASA's scientific visualisation studio produced a video of the far side that shows that there are many more and larger craters than on the side which faces the Earth.

What it does not have is large dark spots called maria. Although "dark" is a misnomer, the side of the Moon humans cannot see is illuminated by the Sun in just the same way as the Earth.

The Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter has been mapping the Moon since 2009. NASA stitched together hundreds of terabytes of data to create the animation.

In 1959, the Soviet Luna 3 probe sent back the first grainy images of the moon's dark side.


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